Last season left every one of us feeling awful. We don't need to go into the details because everyone knows them, but we will anyway. What started off with so much promise ended up with a Sidney Crosby concussion, a destroyed Evgeni Malkin knee and Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. Then came the summer and the disastrous Jagr Watch that ended with Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr in orange.
Whatever. On to the next one.
The best part about anticipating a new hockey season is that anything is possible. Evgeni Malkin could come back and score eight million points. Marc-Andre Fleury could have 17 shutouts in a row. Sidney Crosby could be cleared for contact. Anything is possible. It's with this state of mind that we look at 12 games that we can't wait for in the upcoming season.
Thursday October 6th, 2011 @ Vancouver Canucks
This game would be on the list regardless of who the opponent was. After watching the Pittsburgh Penguins roster be decimated by injuries and suspensions last season, seeing the whole team (hopefully) healthy will be exciting. We may even see Sidney Crosby.
However, the fact that the game is against Vancouver is even more interesting. Roberto Luongo sucks.
Thursday October 13th, 2011 vs. Washington Capitals
The second home game of the season sees Alex Ovechkin and his band of merry douches stroll into the Consol Energy Center.
The team will look a little different with Tomas Vokoun in net. Like it or not, the Capitals are a big contender for the Cup this year so this will be a good test for the Pens.
Still one of the top Stunned Pics of all time.
Tuesday October 25th, 2011 @ New York Islanders
The Islanders and their fans like to pretend that this is some epic rivalry between them and the Penguins. We like to watch their arena crumble as the Pens score goals.
Thursday November 17th, 2011 @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Yes, we're still using last year's graphics. The Pens will play their first game against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Hopefully the Penguins roster in November is a bit better than the roster we saw in April.
Thursday December 1st, 2011 @ Washington Capitals
Our first chance to experience the sirens, horns, whistles and distractions of the Verizon Center this season. Why are so many good games on Thursday?
Monday December 5th, 2011 vs. Boston Bruins
The defending champs walk into Pittsburgh for the first time. This game will be a good measuring stick for the Pens. How many times will we hear about Cooke and Savard in the lead up to the game?
Thursday December 8th, 2011 @ Philadelphia Flyers
The Caps, Bruins and Flyers in an eight day stretch? That's big time. We don't need to tell you why this game is a highly-anticipated one. Ten bucks says Max Talbot is invisible. Crosby Sucks.
Tuesday December 13th, 2011 vs. Detroit Red Wings
December rolls on with a game against the Wings. No Draper or Osgood anymore, so we're not sure who will take over their whining duties. We hate Mike Babcock.
What the hell is Zetterberg doing?
Tuesday December 20th, 2011 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Games against the Hawks are always fun.
Thursday December 29th, 2011 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
We don't normally advocate booing former Penguins, but we expect to see an insane amount of hatred from the crowd during this game. Anything less would be disappointing. We want the Pens to score double digits and Jagr and Talbot to end up in tears.
Friday January 6th, 2012 vs. New York Rangers
Mike Rupp comes back to Pittsburgh and we return to our stance of supporting former Penguins when they come back to town.
Sunday February 12th, 2011 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning embarrassed the Penguins in Pittsburgh a couple of times during the playoffs, like this game. It's time to protect our home. Maybe the Pens can score a goal this time. Stamkos is still a beast. St. Louis sucks.
It's a little December-focused, but that's our list.